Social Security Administration Tough to Deal with for Domestic Violence Victims

Alexis Moore

February 5, 2011

“I had to fill out paperwork on my new job today. They called yesterday…so I called the Social Security Office to check on my application for a new Social Security Number. They said they sent a letter…must be in the mail because the decision was made on the 16th to deny me a new number. The worker left me a message on my phone…Said, there wasn’t enough evidence of ongoing abuse.”

“What do I do now?”

This is an actual recent account of the tragic breakdown of resources available to abuse and stalking victims today who are attempting to change their social security numbers and identities to help prevent future harm or worse death.

Survivors In Action continues to receive thousands of requests from domestic violence victims from across the nation desperate to find the “magic bullet” to get social security administration to accept their application for social security number change.

Victims continue to rely upon volunteer victim advocates with Survivors In Action along with public officials to help cut through the red tape when requesting a social security number change.

Social security number changes are for many abuse and stalking victims a matter of life or death because of the datafurnishing agencies of today and technology. It is easy work for batterers and even those behind bards to locate a person using the net today.

The majority of the requests that are sent in to the SSA, Social Security Administration by abuse and stalking victims requesting a social security number change are denied on the same basis, “not enough evidence of ongoing abuse.”

As a victim I can attest to the fact that for those like me who have applied to SSA for this change receiving this canned response in the mail is support for the need for DV REFORM and for allocating dollars to improving the social security administration response and promoting awareness of id change for victims of stalking and abuse.

Special thanks to Senator Mike Rogers in Alabama for his office’s assistance helping victims of stalking and abuse. It is my hope that more public officials from across the U.S. will follow suit.

If you are a domestic violence victim being given the “run around” by social security administration officials here are some easy steps for you to use to cut through the red tape.

1) Obtain letters from your local public officials in support of your social security number change. A simple statement from your assemblyman or local senator can make a big difference in cutting through the social security administration red tape.

2) Obtain letters from lawyers, victim advocates, family members, co-workers or any member of law enforcement or individual that will oblige your request to write a support letter.

3) Find a advocate at your local domestic violence shelter or reach out to Survivors In Action we will help you!

There is nothing worse than living or working in fear and SIA knows the importance of victims being afforded safety measures like social security number changes- they are far too often a matter of life or death.